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WHO groups go to Wuhan meals marketplace for indicators of virus

WUHAN, China (AP) – A World Well being Group group analyzing the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visited the seafood market within the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan on Sunday, which has been linked to many early infections.

The group members visited the Huanan Seafood Marketplace for about an hour within the afternoon, and certainly one of them gave a thumbs up when reporters requested how the journey was going.

The market was the location of a virus outbreak in December 2019. Scientists initially suspected the virus was from wild animals bought available in the market. The market has since been largely excluded, however it might present clues as to how the virus has unfold so extensively.

“Visits to essential websites immediately – a wholesale market first and Huanan Seafood Market earlier,” mentioned Peter Daszak, zoologist for the US EcoHealth Alliance group and member of the WHO group, in a tweet. “Very informative and important for our joint groups to grasp the epidemiology of COVID because it started to unfold on the finish of 2019.”

Earlier immediately, group members have been additionally seen wandering round sections of Baishazhou Market – certainly one of Wuhan’s largest moist markets – surrounded by a big entourage of Chinese language officers and officers. The market was the meals distribution heart for Wuhan through the metropolis’s 76-day lockdown final yr.

Members, with experience in veterinary medication, virology, meals security and epidemiology, have thus far visited two hospitals on the heart of the early outbreak – Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and Built-in Drugs Hospital Chinese language and Western Hubei.

On Saturday, additionally they visited a museum exhibit devoted to the early historical past of COVID-19.

The mission has develop into politically charged, with China looking for to keep away from blame for alleged missteps in its fast response to the outbreak.

A single go to from scientists is unlikely to substantiate the origins of the virus. Figuring out the animal reservoir of an epidemic is often a complete endeavor that takes years of analysis, together with the gathering of animal samples, genetic evaluation, and epidemiological research.

One risk is {that a} wildlife poacher transmitted the virus to merchants who transported him to Wuhan. The Chinese language authorities has been selling theories, with little proof, that the outbreak might have began with imports of frozen seafood contaminated with the virus, a notion that scientists and worldwide businesses completely reject.

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Soo reported from Hong Kong.

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